FAQsWhat is FasTracks?
The RTD FasTracks Program is a multi-billion dollar, 12-year program to build 122 miles of new commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, 21,000 new parking spaces at rail and bus stations, and enhance bus service for easy, convenient bus/rail connections across the eight-county district.
How Much Will It Cost?
Given the ever changing market conditions and economic downturn, it is a challenge to identify a finite budget for the building out of FasTracks. This is why RTD conducts a comprehensive program evaluation each year. In March 2009, RTD determined the cost to build out FasTracks by 2017 would be $6.9 billion. However, this number continues to fluctuate based on economic volatility. FasTracks will be funded by a combination of a region-wide sales tax, federal funds, and local contributions.
What types of transit are included as part of FasTracks?
The FasTracks system will integrate several types of transit, including commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and local buses. Street cars are also being considered for some of the urban corridors.
What is the difference between light rail and commuter rail?
Light rail is a passenger train powered by overhead electrical wires. It has a lighter frame and smaller body than a traditional train, thus its name, "light" rail. Because of its "lighter" size and turning radius, light rail has the ability to operate along crowded city streets and within tight urban corridors with frequent stops, where quick acceleration and deceleration are necessary.
Commuter rail is a passenger train that can be operated either by diesel fuel or electricity. It is used for local or regional service, typically of longer distances, operating between a central city and surrounding communities or activity centers. Commuter rail has a heavier frame and larger body than light rail, and usually operates in an existing rail corridor along freight and/or passenger rail lines. The interior is designed to provide a comfortable ride for longer distances with larger cushioned seats much like those found on RTD's regional and skyride bus routes.
What is Bus Rapid Transit?
Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, allows buses to operate more like a rail system. BRT can travel in separate highway lanes and uses rail-like stations for loading and unloading passengers. It also has the flexibility to travel in mixed traffic and on local streets. The vehicles typically have more doors and are lower to the ground, to allow rapid passenger loading and unloading.